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Katherine Crompton: DOD’s Chief Digital and AI Office Seeks to Put Contracting First

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Katherine Crompton, contracting chief at the Department of Defense’s chief digital and artificial intelligence office, said CDAO will prioritize and revolutionize contracting within DOD with a goal of eliminating roadblocks, Federal News Network reported Wednesday.

Many times contracting people think contracting is at the end. Sometimes people make the distinction that acquisition and contracting are one in the same,” Crompton told FNN.

Contracting is an enablement, we are the people who should be able to enable that purchasing power for those goods to be delivered. We’re not acquisition,” she added.

Crompton said she wants contracting officers at CDAO, which achieved full operating capability status on June 1, to take risks by giving them authority when it comes to making decisions.

She also wants to transform the way contracting professionals do business with industry by allowing them to know more about industry proposals in the form of oral presentations or videos to help speed up the contracting process.

Is there a way for us to sit here and talk to them now and have them give us a proposal and we can consider it to be competitive?” Crompton said. 

We have done that before we called it a coliseum where in a very short timeframe, we were able to go through hundreds of evaluations and do almost 90 one-on-ones with industry in less than three days and make award decisions which have now transitioned into warfighters hands,” she added.